• Published 23rd Feb 2013
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Friendship is SHOWTIME!! - MangaKamen



A Kamen Rider Crossover Magic – a mysterious force in this world, and each creature possess magic within itself. A gift to many, but to a few, it is nothing but a curse. And when Twilight sees a new form of magic, she'll learn that life is

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Intermission 7 - Rain and Flames

The echo of the harmonica chimed amongst the drops of rain outside Ponyville as a lone figure traversed along the train tracks. With an orange hard hat atop of his head (save for the black horn that stuck out from it), many tools strapped to the faux leather, brown jacket he had over his surprisingly tall build, and a harmonica that was levitated in front of his mouth, he slowly walked amongst the rain in the night.

Oddly enough, there was only one cloud in the otherwise cleared night’s sky, and it seemed to follow this unicorn stallion.

When the stallion lifted his head up, he spotted Ponyville in the distance and the harmonica music stopped.

The stallion sighed. ‘Rainy weather… Cancellation. Should I risk going to the tracks here? As long as I don’t enter the town, that should be fine.’

Once again, the harmonica music began to play…

But in the distance away from the tracks, a tall figure stood in the distance from Ponyville, his ebony armor glistened in the moonlight as he walked towards the town with a large staff in his hands, “… After his defeat, it’s up to me now to acquire more darkness – This will be easy. But still, as an Overseer, this is beneath me.

“Damn management issues.”

With each step the figure took, the color from the grass faded away…

TTT – TTT

Intermission 7

Rain and Flames

TTT – TTT

The Phoenix.

A legendary creature in Equestria, a bird with feathers of fire and a being that possessed the ability to be reborn from its own demise. There were few creatures that could measure up to the majesty that this creature held, some of them even being said to have the ability to speak and even use magic.

“But why do you girls want to learn about Phoenixes?”

It wasn’t that Twilight was against teaching Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo about the mystical bird of flames, but it was such an odd request from the three fillies.

“Oh, well, that is…” Sweetie Belle tried to find the right words.

“We’re doing a report for school!” Scootaloo chimed in quickly. “Yeah! With all the weird monsters around, Miss Cheerilee thought we should learn about new creatures to make sure that we know what to not run into!”

“Y-Yeah!” Applebloom added with a large smile. “It’s to make sure we don’t go near any of those really odd critters.”

Twilight looked at the three small fillies, deep down she could tell that there was definitely more than what they were saying – From what Applejack and Rarity have told her about the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ escapades, they had tried a variety of things since they became friends (some of which included zip lining, dragon tamers, superheroes and many more) and Twilight didn’t want to facilitate…

“Excuse me.”

While Twilight was dealing with the Cutie Mark Crusaders, they weren’t the only ones in the library with Twilight. Over the last few weeks, an odd red pegasus stallion had come in for hours on end and had poured himself into many of the books Twilight had to offer. That very pegasus had walked up to the group with a book in his wings, “Sorry to interrupt, but I’d like to check out this book, that okay?”

“Sure, just go by the table for a minute, and I’ll be there,” Twilight requested before the stallion did as he was asked. Twilight then turned back to the three fillies with a smile, “Now girls, I don’t mind giving you this book, but promise me that you won’t do anything dangerous.”

“We promise,” All three fillies replied with the most innocent looks on their faces.

Twilight shook her head at the three fillies but gently levitated the book on Apple Bloom’s back, and just like that, the three fillies dashed out of the library. With a sigh, Twilight trotted over to the table where the red pegasus waited patiently for her, casually flipping through the pages of the book he was hoping to check out. “Sorry about that sir.”

The pegasus lifted his head up, his rugged and tired face curled slightly up into a smile. “No worries, little fillies can be a hoofful. Anyway, mind if I get this book?”

“Sure,” Twilight replied as her horn lit up to bring over a quill pen and a log book. “Of course, I’ll have to see your library card for this.”

“I… I don’t have one,” The pegasus chuckled sheepishly as he rubbed the back of his head. “I usually just read the books here, I don’t check them out.”

“Understandable,” Twilight answered back as she levitated another piece of paper up. “I usually spent most of my time in the library reading every book, I never really had a need for a card because I would usually sleep in the library.”

The pegasus chuckled weakly. “Yeah… Well, I haven’t had much of a reason to read recently. Been too bummed out.”

“Really? Did something happen?” Twilight questioned.

The pegasus turned away slightly and shook his head, “Aw what the Tartarus? I might as well tell ya – I just lost a… A friend, recently.”

Twilight reeled back slightly then turned slightly, “I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Meh,” The red pegasus grumbled as he looked towards the cloudy sky outside the nearby window. “Guy was an idiot, obnoxious, loud and considered himself a rival to me. We’d often get into fights, beating each other to a bloody pulp each time.

“But we were still friends.”

That’s an odd way for ponies to express friendship,’ Twilight thought to herself. “Well, he sounds like he was… Interesting.”

“Interesting, yeah,” the stallion replied with a sigh. “You don’t need to sugarcoat it, it’s a stallion thing – Sometimes stallions who butt heads all the time can sometimes become the best of friends.”

Twilight tilted her head slightly, was this another form of friendship that she didn’t know about? “How exactly does that work?”

“Uh, well, it’s kinda hard to explain to a mare,” the red pegasus admitted with his eyes closed. “I mean, if I had to spitball it… It’s like a manly bond. Stallions often respect each other by smacking each other silly, proves that we’re strong and that kinda plo… stuff. I… I don’t really know how to explain it really…”

“You mean like a mutual respect?” Twilight suggested. “Showing that you’re both equals while at the same time proving that neither of you would back down from a challenge.”

The stallion’s eyes widened as he looked around nervously, he then sighed with his head lowered, “Yeesh, and there goes one of my stallion cards – A mare managed to explain the complicated friendship between stallions much easier than I could…”

“Um, sorry?” Twilight stated.

“Nah, I’m just joshing ya,” the pegasus replied with a shake of his head. “You made it easier for me to understand.”

“I’m still not fully understanding it myself,” Twilight admitted using her magic to lift the parchment to the stallion. “But maybe we should change the subject, here’s the paperwork for your library card, all I’ll need is your name.”

The stallion smirked before he took the quill pen in his mouth and began to write. After a few moments, the stallion pulled his head back with a smirk, “Heh, I’ll never get used to writing my name.”

Twilight levitated the paper up, “Well Mister… Feenie Nix, if you give me a few minutes I can…”

That was when the door flew open, “Hello, Miss Sparkle!”

Both Twilight and Feenie turned to the door to see Kosuke stepping into the library, the goofy griffon still had a few bandages over his body, but he was able to walk around with a smile on his face.

“Perhaps I can pick up the library card at another time,” Feenie requested before he walked towards the door. “I have some other things to do, Miss Twilight.”

“Oh, uh, sure,” Twilight replied. “I’ll be sure to have it ready for you next time – But what about the book?”

“I’ll pick it up next time too,” Feenie said before he walked out of the door, past the goofy griffon.

Kosuke blinked as he watched the odd stallion walk out, “Did I interrupt something?”

“It’s… It’s nothing,” Twilight covered up as the griffon strolled up to her. “So, what do I owe this visit to?”

“Ya sure it’s nothing?” Kosuke asked turning back to the door. “I mean, I don’t wanna bug ya…”

“It’s fine,” Twilight answered back.

Kosuke returned back to this goofy grin, “Okie dokie! Well, me and Dragon were talking while I was at the hospital, and he told me that he was able to make new rings for himself and get new spells. Is that right?”

“Yes,” Twilight answered with a nod. “Haru’s been able to make his own rings for a while now, and I’ve been able to learn how to tap into the spell through Haru’s ring. If I keep studying it, I should be able to use Haru’s spells without using his ring.”

“That’s perfect!” Kosuke cheered loudly with his talons lifted up into the air.

“Huh?” Twilight questioned. “How is that perfect?”

“Well, I keep seeing Dragon with these new spells,” Kosuke answered back with a smirk. “And at the hospital, he told me that he used that yellow rock to make himself a new power. So, as his rival…”

“He’s not really your rival,” Twilight pointed out.

But Twilight’s reasoning fell onto deaf ears… Or deaf ear holes, or whatever griffons use to listen, “So I got to thinking that I need to up my own arsenal – And from what Flutters and Dashie tell me, you’re the best mare for the job with your talent in magic!”

This was a rather odd choice Twilight had on her hooves, while she wasn’t sure if she could make magic rings for Kosuke, this was an opportunity to study the griffon’s ‘wild magic’ as he dubbed it.

“Well, first I’d need to see if I could even use your magic,” Twilight began to explain. “If I can’t access your magic and see how it works, then I can’t help.”

“That’s all?” Kosuke asked as he reached into his pockets, after a couple moments, Kosuke pulled his talon out with a familiar ring on it adorned with a dolphin on it. “Will this work?”

“Well, in theory,” Twilight answered.

With the purple aura appearing over her horn and around the ring, Twilight lifted the ring over her head. “If I put a little magical energy into the ring, I should be able to…”

It was then that the ring began to glow a bright blue, with a loud dolphin squeak echoing through the air. “Dolphi! Go, Do-Do-Do-Do-Dolphi!”

Twilight’s eyes darted around, trying to find where the magic had taken place, at first her eyes fell onto Kosuke, but… There was no change to him. Well, except for the wide eyes that he had trained on her, “Mister Nitoh, is there something wrong?”

“Uh, don’t turn around!” Kosuke warned with his talons waved in front of his face.

Of course when someone says that, the first thing someone does is turn around – And as such, when Twilight turned around, her own eyes widened at the sight of her flanks… Or rather, the lack of her flanks. Gone were her legs and tail, in their place was now a dolphin tail that matched her fur coat.

Now, there were a few ways Twilight would’ve responded with this – One would be with amazement that the ring actually managed to transform her physically, and question if the dolphin tail was real. Another would be to get mad at Kosuke, even though he didn’t do anything wrong, and demand his help.

But Twilight just settled for screaming so loud that it would’ve shattered the windows of the Golden Oaks Library if it was one decibel higher.

TTT – TTT

“So, what kind of tea can I get you, Miss Blossom?”

“Please Rarity, there’s no need to be so formal with me. And I’m sure any tea you make shall be superb.”

In contrast to the screaming that was in the library, Carousel Boutique was the epitome of calm, classical music playing in the background on the magic music player that Rarity had gotten to entice her customers.

Rarity smiled as she brought a tray into the main room with tea and some small little pastries that she had gotten in advance for this little get together. Still, she was very nervous since she had Beautiful Blossom, one of the top models in the Canterlot fashion in her very own boutique!

Sure, Rarity questioned why Blossom would be interested in a competition of brute strength, but who cares! This was a chance of a lifetime!

“I hope rosehip tea is acceptable,” Rarity stated as she levitated the tray down at the table where her guests were seated.

“Ah, somepony’s been studying me,” Blossom laughed a little bit as she used her own magic to pour herself a cup of tea. “Very astute, Rarity. You know how this business works.”

“Oh, I’ve been following almost every little detail of Canterlot fashion,” Rarity explained, lifting a cup to her lips. After a little sip, Rarity lowered the cup slightly and smiled at the mare across from her. “Is it not necessary to know the models that would wear the clothes?”

“Quite so,” Blossom stated as she looked around. “Although, I must say, you’ve got quite an eye for fashion, Rarity. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sapphire Shores would come knocking on your door in the future.”

Rarity calmly sipped from her tea cup again, but in her mind she was practically on the edge of screaming in joy. “Why thank you… and I hope you don’t think I’m being rude, but I must ask, what brings you to our humble little town of Ponyville?”

Blossom’s warm gaze dulled over slightly as she turned towards the mint green pegasus who’s head was slammed atop of the table, a feather stuck in his mouth that he rolled around with his tongue. “Bored, bored, bored…”

“That would be because of him,” Blossom answered. “He practically dragged me here… Then again, if he hadn’t, then we wouldn’t be talking now, would we?”

“That is true…” Rarity admitted. “But I just find it a little hard to imagine that the two of you would be acquaintances.”

“It’s not that complicated,” Sora sighed, now content with blowing the feather up into the air. “I used to be Blossom’s hair stylist.”

Rarity had to do a double take at the lofty pegasus – Never in a million years would she have pictured Sora, the rather rude and energetic stallion who could keep up with Pinkie Pie, was a member of the stylist world! He certainly didn’t look like it, save for his clothing which made him look like a hipster.

“I know, I don’t look it,” Sora sighed loudly with a roll of his eyes. “But then again, if we’d go by looks, I’d halve expect you to be a jeweler, Miss Rarity.”

Both mares narrowed their eyes down at the stallion, with Blossom speaking up, “You know Sora, if you want to leave, you’re more than welcomed to…”

Blossom didn’t even have a chance to finish her sentence before Sora flew out of boutique, only leaving a green blur and several feathers to float through the boutique.

“He’s horrible, isn’t he?” Blossom chuckled before she took a sip.

“Hard to imagine him as a stylist,” Rarity added.

Blossom lowered her tea cup, and smiled at Rarity, “Now then, Rarity, I think it’s time for us to discuss business.”

The white unicorn gulped silently as she lifted her tea up to her mouth, this was it – The chance she was waiting for… Now if only Blossom said those seven little words…

“I would like to commission a dress from you.”

Okay, that was nine, but the same principle was there! It took everything that Rarity had in her will to not faint right there on the spot.

“However.”

However? HOWEVER!? This was never a good sign! Once again, Rarity was on the verge of fainting, only this time for a much different reason.

Blossom seemed to pick up on the fretting that was going on within and smiled with a slight giggle, “You don’t need to worry – It’s nothing serious. I just want to see how well you can work under pressure, I’d also like to see some more… Hmm, what’s a good word here? Ah, more recent designs of yours.”

“Oh, t-that shouldn’t be an issue,” Rarity assured with a smile on her face. “Anything particular you’re looking for?”

“Well, I would like to see your adaptability,” Blossom explained. “I intend on wearing a brand new dress to the Grand Galloping Gala this year, so perhaps that’s something that you can work off of.”

“What a coincidence,” Rarity gasped slightly. “I’ll be attending the Grand Galloping Gala this year with my friends as well, I’m even in the midst of finishing my own dress for it…”

“And your friends, what of them?” Blossom inquired, a smile on her face. “Are you designing their dresses as well?”

“Well, no,” Rarity admitted. “In fact, I don’t know what they’re wearing to the Gala… I would imagine one of them would probably wear goulashes of all things there.”

Blossom giggled slyly with a rather calm smile on her face. “Then this is an avid opportunity for not just the two of us, but your friends as well.”

“Hmm?” Rarity questioned, but she was easily able to see where this was going…

TTT – TTT

Ghastly Gorge, as the name would imply it wasn’t the best place to be, a deep and long cleft in the earth near Ponyville, a place filled to the brim with countless dangers – creatures called the Quarray eels that lived in the holes of the gorge, rockslides and various other hazards.

It made the perfect training ground.

“C’mon! C’mon! C’mon! Don’t you stupid eels want some fresh Phantom Meat?! Come and get it!”

From several holes, the large red eels screeched loudly before they shot out towards the red and golden armored figure before them.

With a snicker, Phoenix leapt towards the eels, his fist enclosed tightly. Just as the first eel was about to bite down on the armored phantom, Phoenix threw his fist up and slammed it into the eel’s snout, sending it flying upwards.

That allowed two more eels to snap towards the fiery Phantom, but he was prepared and spun around to throw his legs out and rammed them into the eel’s foreheads, forcing them back. The rest of the eels watched nervously as Phoenix landed on the ground, cracking his neck when his feet reached the floor, “What’s da matter? You got yourselves a piping hot meal, and you’re not going to take up on my offer? Well, how about some delivery?”

Two sparks popped at Phoenix’s back before he yelled out, the sparks erupted into a pair of fiery wings that flapped and allowed the phantom to fly towards the remaining Quarray Eels. ‘I have become stronger! I know I’ve become stronger! Strong enough to take down Haruto Souma!’

Unbeknownst to the fiery Phantom, three pairs of eyes watched as Phoenix continued on with his assault.

“Ah don’t know ‘bout this Scootaloo,” Apple Bloom admitted as she watched Phoenix deliver a roundhouse kick to one of the Quarray eels’ jaw. “Are you sure that’s a phoenix?’

“C’mon, it’s got wings of fire,” Scootaloo listed off from the book that the three had gotten from the library. “Its red and gold, and its really terra… Terra…”

“Territorial,” Sweetie Belle read out from the book.

“Yeah! That!” Scootaloo added.

“But the picture in the book looks nothing like that,” Apple Bloom pointed out with her hoof tapped against the pages, showing off a red bird.

“Then what would you call that?” Scootaloo countered as she pointed at the Phantom.

“Trouble?” Sweetie Belle suggested. “Phoenix Taming would’ve been dangerous on its own to get our cutie marks, but dealing with… That thing is a whole other mess.”

As the three continued their discussion, none of them noticed the tall, ebony armored figure that stood behind them amongst the bushes and trees. The armored being chuckled silently as he lifted his rook-chess piece styled spear up into the air, ‘And so, I cast my shadow to delve this world into darkness – May these three be the first of many to sample the void… Notice: This is the beginning!’

Back in the quarry, the last of the Quarray Eels slithered back into their holes with Phoenix holding his arms up. “Aw… What’s the matter? Running away already? Aw c’mon, we were just getting started! If you’re not going to come to me then I’ll just…”

Phoenix stopped when he realized something, it was raining, the droplets that contacted his body turned into steam. When the Phantom lifted his head up, he was met with a sky that was clear of clouds, but the rain continued to fall, “Rain with no clouds? What exactly am I…”

Once again, Phoenix stopped when he realized something – There was some sort of dreary tune that filled the air, being played by a harmonica. The music itself wasn’t grating or anything, but with the rain, it seemed to darken the atmosphere…

Phoenix turned his head, near the opening of the quarry appeared to be the source of the song… And oddly enough, the rain itself since it seemed to follow the black unicorn stallion as he drew ever closer to Phoenix. The stallion’s horn stuck out from his orange hardhat, lit with the same glow that held the harmonica to the stallion’s mouth.

The stallion then stopped and continued to play his harmonica, with Phoenix standing there, “… That’s a hero’s entrance if I ever saw one.”

The music stopped and the stallion lifted his head up towards Phoenix, “… What are you? You’re not a Shadow, you’re too colorful. But you’re definitely not of the light.”

“What? Never heard of a Phantom before?” Phoenix scoffed to the side. “We’re beings that hide in the shadows and create despair – You got a problem with it?”

The black stallion shook his head, “I sensed the darkness here – If despair is what you create, then I am here to stop you from destroying the colors of this world.”

“Now you’re just spouting nonsense,” Phoenix growled loudly as he lifted his fist up. “You gonna keep trying your luck in trying to piss me off?”

With a smirk on his face, the stallion pushed his front hooves off of the ground and stood up straight, “I am Nijino Akira – The one who will defend the rainbow. These ponies who all shine bright, I will defend their shine.”

It was then that a small orange device appeared in Akira’s hoof, along with a small train in his other hoof. “… TOQ Change!”

NOW TRANSFORMING!
Please stand behind the white line!

Phoenix reeled back as an actual white line appeared before Akira, following by two crossing yellow and black lines with a similarly styled circle in front of him. When the lines and circle crashed into Akira’s chest, a bright orange light engulfed the stallion.

When the light died down, a new form stood before Phoenix – Like the Phantom himself, this being seemed to have a humanoid shape: Standing on two legs with a pair of hands and no tail. He was covered with an orange jumpsuit that had the yellow and black lines and circle over his chest while he had black boots and black wrist guards. His helmet resembled that of a railroad shove with the black visor covered with silver train rails.

In the orange figure’s hands was an odd sword that resembled that of a light guide stick, which was lifted up towards Phoenix – The rain above scattered away with a rainbow gleaming above.

TOQ SIX!
TOQ SIX!

Phoenix’s brow raised slightly at the odd orange being, “What the…? Just what the Tartarus are you supposed to be?”

“Nijino Akira,” Toq Six answered back. “This is my place to die.”

Once again, Phoenix raised his brow slightly, “… Do… Do you want me to kill you or something? I’m kinda getting mixed signals here…”

Toq Six didn’t say a word as he calmly walked towards Phoenix, the fiery Phantom sighed loudly as he clenched his fist. “You know what? Screw it! I just wanna kick your ass!”

Phoenix threw his right hand towards Toq Six, unleashing a powerful burst of flames towards the orange being. However, when the flames were about to strike Toq Six, the orange being snapped his arm to the side and knocked the flames into the wall. A little surprised, Phoenix staggered back before he threw three more flame bursts at Toq Six.

All of them were knocked away to the side with ease.

“… The Tartarus?” Phoenix questioned as he lowered his hand slightly. “Just what did… How in the… You lousy…”

Toq Six lifted his weapon up before he tossed it to the side and dashed towards Phoenix. Before Phoenix knew it, Toq Six had tackled into him, and sent the two rolling onto the ground. “GAGH! What’s the point of having a weapon if you’re just going to throw it away?!”

The two rolled along the ground until Phoenix found himself being held down by Toq Six’s weight. The orange dressed warrior pulled his fists back and began to deliver a flurry of punches straight to Phoenix’s face. However, Phoenix snarled loudly and threw his own fist right back into Toq Six’s visor.

WHAM!

“Heh! Don’t think that…” Phoenix started.

However, the phantom stopped his gloating when he felt two hands wrap around his wrist. “You talk too much!”

With a spin, Toq Six wrapped his legs around the base of Phoenix’s shoulder, pulling the Phantom’s hand closer to his neck. Phoenix cried out in pain as he felt his shoulder slowly pulling out of its joint. ‘W-What’s going on here?! Am I actually losing to some orange?!’

If his mouth was visible, Phoenix would’ve gritted his teeth and he began to pull his arm back from Toq Six. The orange fighter pulled back just as hard, “Stop! If you try to escape from my lock, you’ll snap your arm in two!”

“THAT’S FINE WITH MEEEEEE!” Phoenix roared back, flames starting to spark from his joints.

Slowly, Toq Six was lifted off of the ground, while Phoenix began to stand up straight. Despite the pain surging through his arm, Phoenix continued onwards and turned his gaze at Toq Six. With his feet on the ground, Phoenix was able to gain the leverage and was easily able to keep Toq Six up.

Next, Phoenix quickly ran towards one of the nearby walls of the quarry and slammed Toq Six into it, sending cracks webbing throughout the rocks. The force was enough to have Toq Six loosen his grip, and thus allowed Phoenix to toss the orange clad being off of his arm.

Toq Six rolled around the ground, his suit scratched and scuffed up by the brutal onslaught, but the odd orange being realized something.

“Ya know, there’s gotta be a hundred reasons why I don’t just blow you away,” Phoenix growled as he lifted his right hand, summoning forth several flames that transformed into his large broad sword. “Right now I can’t think of one.”

Toq Six slowly pushed himself up, his back to Phoenix.

“And I don’t know why you attacked me,” Phoenix chuckled, slowly closing the gap between him and Toq Six. “But you ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have f’ed with? That’s me!”

Phoenix roared out before he brought his sword down on Toq Six, however, just as the blade was about to connect, Toq Six turned around and brought his light guide sword and blocked the attack. Sparks erupted as the two weapons collided, and the two warriors skidded back away from each other.

The two stared at each other, both circling the quarry to keep their distance from the other, both waiting for the other to make a move…

“AAAAAH!”

Both warriors looked up towards the cliff on the quarry, where a white unicorn filly and an orange pegasus filly were trying to lift up a yellow earth filly. However, they weren’t alone, behind the two mares that tried to lift their friend up to safety was an extremely large armored being. The bulky armored being had a helmet that was similar to that of a rook chess piece, with two more rooks on his orb-like shoulder pads.

The rook-like creature lifted up his staff behind the three fillies and immediately slammed the butt of the weapon into the ground behind the three. The shock was enough to cause the ledge the small fillies were on to crumble.

Toq Six growled before he dashed away from Phoenix and towards the nearby wall, leaping against any and all ledges that he could, trying to get to the falling fillies. Phoenix growled as he gave chase afterwards, “WE AREN’T DONE HERE YET!!”

With his fiery wings, Phoenix flew up after Toq Six, and was catching up quickly with his hand extended towards the odd orange being. However, Toq Six leapt from the rocky wall just past Phoenix with both of his arms held out.

Phoenix then watched as the three fillies were caught by the odd orange being. ‘Seriously? He stopped fighting to catch them?’

Even though Toq Six had the three fillies in his arm, he was up too high in the air. And when the orange being realized this, he began fall towards the ground.

However, before he fell too far, Toq Six suddenly stopped. “Huh?”

Toq Six looked up to see that Phoenix had grabbed onto his shoulders, “It’d be pretty pathetic if you died from falling instead of getting beaten by me. Try not to do that.”

“You could just drop me, that’d solve the problem,” Toq Six suggested as he was lowered down to the ground.

“Naw, it’d leave a bad taste in my mouth,” Phoenix admitted before he set Toq Six on the ground. “Sides, I’m not interested in hurting some fillies – I may be axe crazy, but I’m not that axe crazy… Maybe.”

Toq Six lowered the Cutie Mark Crusaders down and knelt so that he could look them in the eyes… even though he had a visor over his. “You three shouldn’t be playing around here. It’s very dangerous, especially when this red bag of hot air is around.”

“I can still kick your as…” Phoenix caught himself when he remembered that there were fillies around. “… Meh, just don’t push your luck.”

“Thanks for saving us though!” Apple Bloom cheered out.

“Not a problem,” Toq Six chuckled as he ruffled Apple Bloom’s mane slightly. “Now you three run along…”

BOOM!

A few yards away from the small group, the rook armored being landed on the ground, two large craters surged around his feet. The being was extremely tall, with the sun glistening off of his ebony armor and his equally tall staff he lifted his hands up, “Humph, so, it looks like I’ve got a traitor in my midst. I was wondering why I felt some darkness nearby – Zalam.”

Toq Six turned back to the small fillies, “Run along now – This is something that little fillies shouldn’t see.”

“Ah, let’em watch,” Phoenix cackled as he drew his sword once more from his flames. “It’ll be a fun romp seeing someone that big get tossed to the side.”

“You intend to fight him as well?” Toq Six asked. “Why?”

“Meh, you’re starting to bore me,” Phoenix admitted, his sword rested against the armor of his shoulder. “… At least this big lug might be a little fun to play with.”

“Don’t think Rook here is a push over,” Toq Six warned as he watched the three fillies gallop away behind a couple of rocks. When the orange being turned his head back to Rook, the three fillies poked their heads out to watch. “Speaking of, aren’t you supposed to be an overseer, Rook?”

The tall Shadow growled before he slammed the butt of his staff into the ground, “I actually owe my new line of work to you, Zalam. Ever since you decided to leave the Shadow Line, and with those multi-colored switchers, we have to go frugal and some of us need to cover other shifts. Unfortunately, that means I have to do the grunt work of lower Shadows.”

“My name’s Akira Nijino,” Toq Six corrected.

“Your name could be mud for all I care,” Rook spat back as he slammed his right foot into the ground a few times. “Point is, cause of you and the colored freaks, I’m stuck with dealing with grunt work!”

Reaching for the back of his belt, Rook lifted up a small intercom to his mouth. “Kuros! Get out here!”

Rook’s shadow began to bubble up and formed into several black cloaked creatures with top hats, white cravats and porcelain masks. In each of the Kuro’s hands were tommy gun-like weapons that they spun about before they adjusted their caps.

“Sweet, a portable army,” Phoenix chuckled as he lifted up quite a few stones in his hand. Every Phantom possessed the ability to create Ghouls, Phoenix was no exception, he just didn’t like having grunts taking all the fun though. “… Ya know, I got my own personal army too – But this is too much of an opportunity. Been a while since I’ve fought an army!”

“I don’t know who you are,” Rook replied before he slammed his knuckles together. “But I’m sure you’re a jerk too! Kuros! Take ‘em both out!”

The Kuros spun around before they took aim at Toq Six and Phoenix, while the orange Toqger tossed his weapon to the side before he dashed forward.

Phoenix shook his head, “Will you stop throwing your… Ah screw it, might as well join in the insanity!”

Taking his sword, Phoenix threw it to the side as well and charged towards Rook and the Kuros.

The machine gun wielding Kuros took aim at the two oncoming foes, however, before they could even pull the trigger, several fiery feathers flew from Phoenix’s back and crashed into the shadowy lackeys’ chests. This allowed Toq Six to continue running past them while Phoenix stopped and grabbed one of the Kuros by the back of its belt and spun around to slam it into the other Kuros.

Toq Six continued onwards Rook, the larger Shadow pulled his staff up and took a swipe at the orange Toqger, only to have Toq Six leap over the attack and slammed his foot into Rook’s masked face, and made the bulky being stagger backwards. “URK!”

When Toq Six landed on the ground, he tackled into Rook, and forced the bulky shadow to the ground. “GAH! Notice: GET OFF OF ME!”

Meanwhile, Phoenix was wiping the floor with the Kuros, easily shrugging off any shots that they fired upon the Phantom while he either threw them into the ground, uppercut them into the air, kick them straight into the wall, or flicked his finger right into their hat covered heads to knock them out. “Oh yeah! Oh yeah! OH YEAH!”

“Should we really be watching this?” Sweetie Belle asked, slinking behind the rock for more cover.

“Aw come on, it’s just a fight,” Scootaloo countered as she watched Phoenix jump up into the air and then slammed his feet right into a Kuro’s face. “They happen all over town now-a-days, I even saw Rainbow Dash fight against some rocky things a while ago! It was awesome!”

“Yeah, but something seems… Weird,” Apple Bloom pointed out. “Does that red guy really like fighting a lot?”

“WHAHAHAHAHAAHAAA!”

“And, that kinda sounds like a bad guy’s laugh,” Apple Bloom continued as she watched Phoenix perform a suplex on a crying Kuro.

“Well, he and the orange guy did save us,” Sweetie Belle stated. “So… Maybe he’s just eccentric about fighting?”

“The orange guy’s also… Ec… Xsen…” Apple Bloom tried to speak up, but struggled when she tried using the same word that Sweetie Belle used.

“Eccentric,” Sweetie Belle corrected.

“Yeah! That word!” Apple Bloom chimed back in with a smile.

“WAAAH!”

Speaking of the orange being, he was quickly flung through the air and crashed into the ground near the three fillies. When he got back to his feet, Toq Six shook his head and ran back towards Rook, dipping down to grab his light guide stick that was on the ground.

With most of the Kuros on the ground, moaning in pain, Phoenix turned to Rook, with the large Shadow grabbing his staff, “What are you supposed to be exactly? Some sort of hero?”

“Far from it!” Phoenix laughed loudly. “In fact, I’m more on the side of evil… But, then again – I don’t really care about sides right now, I just wanna kick your butt!”

“Notice: You’re about to die!” Rook roared loudly and threw his staff towards Phoenix, several purple flames shot out from the top of the weapon towards Phoenix.

Phoenix didn’t move a muscle when the flames crashed into his body, however, he just chuckled as the purple flames began to turn a bright red. “Seriously? You think fire will hurt me? That just tickles!”

Snapping his arm to the side, Phoenix flew the flames off to the side before he charged towards Rook, his fist pulled back. Just as Phoenix was about to throw his punch, Rook spun his staff up and knocked Phoenix’s fist to the side. That allowed Rook to fling his hand around Phoenix’s neck and lift the Phantom up off of the ground. “Notice: You’re too reckless!”

“And you need to pay attention!”

Rook pulled Phoenix to the side just in time to get tackled by Toq Six, sending all three to the ground in a heap of red, orange and black.

“GAH! My neck!”

“Notice: Someone is touching my butt! Who is doing that?!”

“That’s your own hand!”

“You’re an idiot!!”

“Which one of us?”

“Both of you!”

“Offer: Shall we take a minute to get to our feet and try this again?”

“… I’m good with that, how about you, tori-san?”

“Do I look like a fricken’ bird?!”

“Well, you act like a turkey.”

One minute later…

Back on their feet, Phoenix and Toq Six kept their sights on Rook, each of the three with their own weapons lifted up against the opposing side.

“Notice: We’re about to fight!” Rook announced before he lowered his staff down and fired a burst of purple energy through the air towards the two colorful opponents.

Both Toq Six and Phoenix dipped to the side, dodging the attack before Phoenix charged forward, his large broadsword lifted up into the air over his head. With a powerful downward slash, Phoenix countered the large armored goon.

Rook lifted his staff up and caught the attack, but when he was focused on Phoenix, Toq Six had slipped in and managed to strike his light stick right into Rook’s stomach, with orange sparks flying off of the Shadow’s body. “URK!”

Rook staggered back, lowering his staff slightly.

This was Phoenix’s chance and with a snap of his hand, Phoenix unleashed several flames that crashed into Rook’s body and made him step back even further. Rook groaned as he lifted his head up, “Notice: You’re about to die!”

It was then that Rook stabbed his staff into the ground, with several clusters of dark energy erupting from the tower-like structure on the top of the staff and flew into Rook’s body. The large shadow’s body began to grow larger and taller, until he was about twice the size of either Phoenix or Toq Six. “Behold the power of an overseer!”

“Huh, usually they have to be beaten before they get bigger,” Toq Six admitted as he rubbed his chin.

“Sometimes it’s fun to have it the other way around,” Phoenix chuckled, holding his sword up. “I got a new finisher I wanted to try anyway – Wanna finish this now?”

Reaching for the back of his belt, Toq Six lifted up a small train-like charm that had a drill on it. “Sure, but I don’t think he’ll be just as willing.”

“Notice: I’m stomping!”

Both Phoenix and Toq Six jumped to opposite sides of the quarry, just in time to dodge the large foot that was intent on crushing them.

When he got back to his feet, Toq Six slid the drill train into the side of his light stick and spun it around.

ALRIGHT ALRIGHT!

A large amount of orange energy surged about the light stick, spinning around like a drill. The orange clad being jumped through the air and stabbed the drill into Rook’s giant foot.

“GARGH!” Rook howled in pain as he lifted his foot up.

“Phoenix…”

Rook lifted his head up towards the sky where a pair of fiery wings flapped wildly through the air, the flames overtook the small figure that was between the wings and propelled it. That figure was none other than Phoenix himself with one of his legs extended out. “KICK!!!”

Rook lifted his free hand up into the air in an attempt to block the oncoming attack, however, when Phoenix’s foot collided with Rook’s large hand, the force knocked the back of his hand into his face. Phoenix roared loudly as the flames from his body engulfed Rook’s body and the large Shadow crashed into the nearby wall. “URK!”

Phoenix landed on the ground next to Toq Six, who sighed loudly and shook his head at the Phantom, “Think that was flashy enough?”

“Says the guy with the drill attack,” Phoenix countered as he tapped Toq Six’s shoulder with the back of his hand.

However, Rook pushed himself up from the side of the quarry and roared loudly, “Notice: I have had enough! I shall eliminate you two and…”

RING RING RING! RING RING RING!
PHONE CALL! PHONE CALL!

The large Shadow reached for the back of his belt and lifted up the receiver to his helmet, “Rook reporting in! Yes? I… I see…

“YES! YES I’LL BE RIGHT THERE, SIR!!”

The shadows from Rooks body faded from him as he shrunk back down to his original size and pulled his staff from the ground. “Notice: I shall take my leave now – I have just been informed that we have just recruited twenty new Shadows, and I need to return to my job!”

“Do… Do you think that you can just walk away from this?!” Phoenix snarled with his fist pumped up. “We’re in the middle of a fight! You can’t just walk away!!”

“Watch me!” Rook roared before he turned his staff down and unleashed a powerful burst of purple energy from the top of the staff towards the two.

Both Phoenix and Toq Six jumped to the sides to dodge the attack, and when they turned their attentions back to Rook – In his place was a cloud of dark dust that streamed through the quarry.

“He ran,” Toq Six stated with his hand over his visor.

“He ran so far away,” Phoenix added, with a bead of sweat appearing on the side of his helmet.

“He might even run all night and day,” Toq Six finished off.

Phoenix groaned loudly with a shake of his head, “Even I find this joke to be out of date and in bad taste… And I’m the master of making bad jokes.”

Toq Six merely shrugged back, “In any case, Rook shouldn’t be a problem here.”

“Heh, I hope you didn’t forget we’re still in the middle of a fight,” Phoenix cackled as he cracked his knuckles loudly. “And now that I’ve seen that you can actually use that little light stick instead of just tossing it away, I really wanna…”

It was then that Toq Six lifted his hand up towards Phoenix and stopped the Phantom from speaking, “… I have no qualms about fighting. However, I’d prefer fighting an opponent who is honest with themselves.”

“Oh, I’m honest alright,” Phoenix cracked as his flames engulfed his fists. “I’m honestly about to kick your ass!”

“If that were the case, then why didn’t you drop me earlier?” Toq Six questioned before he tapped Phoenix against his chest. “If you were really a monster who was bloodthirsty for battle – You would’ve dropped me and the fillies without a second thought.”

Phoenix took a deep breath to speak, but then stopped, ‘Why didn’t I do that? They’re just some snot-nosed brats. What do I care if they get hurt?’

“When you can figure out an answer,” Toq Six stated as he started walking forward, his orange covered body began to glow a brighter orange. “I’ll be more than willing to fight you again – And next time I won’t hold back. There’s more to you than just flames of destruction, I can see it.”

Phoenix was at a loss of words, and as he watched Toq Six walk away, the orange being’s body flashed and transformed back into the black stallion that Phoenix had saw earlier. The stallion stopped and turned around towards Phoenix, “I’m Akira Nijino – The defender of the rainbow, lover of bathhouses, and former Shadow. If you can figure out who you really are, just follow the train tracks, I’m sure we’ll cross paths again.”

And like that, Akira just walked off while Phoenix just watched the stallion disappear into the distance. ‘What the Tartarus is wrong with me?’

Phoenix looked down at his hands. ‘I should’ve easily killed the bastard just now – Why didn’t I attack? Am… Am I getting soft? Or… Or is there more to it?’

The fiery Phantom sighed loudly as his fiery body began to recede, transforming back into his stallion form. “Ah mou! I came here to get some stress outta my system – But now my head’s hurting like crazy! I… I think I just need to nap on this…”

And like that, Phoenix’s wings folded out and he flew out of the quarry.

As he flew away, he was unaware that three pairs of eyes were watching him transform and fly off…

“Uh, wow…” Applebloom spoke in awe.

“That was awesome,” Scootaloo added.

“Um, should we tell someone about this?” Sweetie Belle asked.

TTT – TTT

“So, explain this to me again…”

Haru sighed before he drew his claw back from Golden Oaks Library’s front door and leered at Spike, “Look, it’s just a tradition in Neighpon – When you get out of a hot spring or bathhouse, you need to put your left claw on your hip, and down a bottle coffee milk in one shot. It’s just a weird thing that some ponies and dragons do.”

“But coffee milk sounds disgusting,” Spike gagged with his tongue sticking out.

“Trust me, Spike,” Haru chuckled with a smirk on his face. “It may be bitter at first, but once you get used to it – You’ll understand what it means to be a grown up.”

“Says the dragon who’s blood has probably been replaced by powder sugar,” Spike snickered back. “What would you know about bitter?”

“Look, you just asked me what I thought about long baths,” Haru sighed loudly with a roll of his eyes. “And I told you my experience, although, I still can’t believe you try for eight hour baths… You try that in a Neighpon hot spring and you’d end up a purple prune.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Spike waved off.

Haru opened the door to the library, and both dragons were immediately met with a very odd sight – On the floor was none-other than the griffon, Kosuke Nitoh, his eyes were blank and he had a large amount of foam spilling out onto the wood around his head.

At the floor near Kosuke, were is usual beast rings, save for there being two more: one that depicted the face of a yellow cat that had spots on it and another had an odd purple mammal that had an armored back.

Spike and Haru looked deeper into the library to see that on the couch in the lobby, Twilight seemed to be completely absorbed in a book, although, her brow was narrowed down at the pages.

“… Haru, slowly retreat,” Spike warned as he closed the door before the two dragons…

TBC

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